Montana Administrative Register Notice 18-186 No. 21   11/05/2021    
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In the matter of the adoption of New Rules I and II pertaining to Courtesy Car grant applications









TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On December 6, 2021, the Department of Transportation proposes to adopt the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Transportation will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Transportation no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 26, 2021, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Marc McKee, Airport/Airways Bureau Chief, Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 200507, Helena, Montana, 59620-0507; telephone (406) 444-9581; fax (406) 444-2519; TYY Service (800) 335-7592; or e-mail mmckee@mt.gov.


3. GENERAL STATEMENT OF REASONABLE NECESSITY:  The 2021 Legislature enacted House Bill 20, Ch. 469, L. 2021, an act generally revising the laws relating to the issuance of courtesy car grants by the Montana Department of Transportation. Among other changes, the bill amended the statutes to allow the department to provide grants for the purchase of courtesy cars at municipal and state-owned airports by eligible third parties. The bill became effective May 12, 2021.


The department is proposing New Rules I and II to conform to the new legislative changes and implement the bill by detailing the process used by the department to evaluate, select, and award courtesy car grants to eligible airports.


4. The rules as proposed to be adopted provide as follows:


            NEW RULE I  APPLICATION PROCESS, FEES, AND DEADLINES (1) The department may provide grant money from the department's special revenue account for the purchase of courtesy cars for use at qualified airports.

(2) All eligible applicants must complete the courtesy car grant application form found on the Department of Transportation's web site at www.mdt.mt.gov.  Applications will be accepted by the Aeronautics Division annually between April 1 and May 31 of each year.  Completed applications and all supplemental materials must be submitted electronically to the Aeronautics Division and must be received no later than May 31. Applications must be verified by an electronic signature. The deadline may be subject to change by the Aeronautics Division only after notification of any change is posted on the Department of Transportation's web site and sent to the official manager of record of every eligible airport.

(3)  Each application must be complete and accompanied by all required supplemental materials.  The application must be submitted by a qualified applicant and the proposed courtesy car program must be detailed in the application.  The Aeronautics Division may reject ineligible, incomplete, or otherwise improper applications.  The applicant is solely responsible for any incomplete, improperly edited, or erroneous information submitted as part of the application.

(4) All grant monies awarded under this program must be used to purchase a car for the municipality's or third party's courtesy car program.  The applicant is responsible for retaining and providing documentation to ensure all grant monies received under the program are used as set forth within the application.

(5)  There is no fee for any part of the application or review process.


AUTH:  67-2-102, 67-10-903, MCA

IMP:  67-10-901, 67-10-902, 67-10-903, 67-10-904, MCA


REASON:  Proposed New Rule I is necessary to provide a fair and consistent process to all eligible applicants for a courtesy car grant. New Rule I defines the responsibilities for each applicant, the requirements for the application process, establishes application deadlines, and allows MDT to reject incomplete applications.


            NEW RULE II  EVALUATION, SELECTION, AND AWARD (1)  The amount of the courtesy car grants available to be awarded each year shall be determined by the department annually and posted on the department's web site prior to the first date the annual courtesy car application is available on the web site.

(2)  After the submission deadline for applications, the department will evaluate applications and award grants based on:

(a)  the availability of alternate transportation;

(b)  whether the applicant currently owns and operates any courtesy car(s);

(c)  distance to the nearest town;

(d)  previous years' awards to the applicant; and

(e)  number of annual airport take-offs and landings.    

(3)  The department will provide preference for the award of grants for vehicles that are accessible to persons with disabilities.


AUTH:  67-2-102, 67-10-903, MCA

IMP: 67-10-901, 67-10-902, 67-10-903, 67-10-904, MCA


REASON:  Proposed New Rule II is necessary to allow MDT to define the criteria that it will use to evaluate and select recipients for courtesy car grant awards.


5. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed actions in writing to: Marc McKee, Airport/Airways Bureau Chief, Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 200507, Helena, Montana, 59620-0507; telephone (406) 444-9581; fax (406) 444-2519; or e-mail mmckee@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., December 3, 2021.


6. If persons who are directly affected by the proposed actions wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to Marc McKee at the above address no later than 5:00 p.m., November 26, 2021.


7. If the agency receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10 percent or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date. Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register. Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be 5 based on approximately 50 airport managers for the 50 airports located in the state of Montana.


8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in paragraph 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


9. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sosmt.gov/ARM/Register.  


10. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled. The primary bill sponsor was contacted by email and regular U.S. mail postage prepaid on October 12, 2021.


11.  With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.


12. With regard to the requirements of 2-15-142, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rules will not have direct tribal implications.



/s/ Valerie A. Balukas                                /s/ Malcolm "Mack" Long              

Valerie A. Balukas                                     Malcolm "Mack" Long

Rule Reviewer                                           Director

                                                                   Department of Transportation



Certified to the Secretary of State October 26, 2021.


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